We recognise some products we sell can be unhealthy if misused or consumed often. We take the responsibility of selling these seriously, and remain focused on leading in the highest standards of retailing for alcohol and tobacco.

In 2021, Woolworths Group and Endeavour Group demerged, with our relationship moving from ownership to partnership, diluting our association with gambling. Woolworths Group will continue to sell alcohol in our New Zealand operations through Countdown and in Australia through our partnership with BWS and Dan Murphy’s.


Responsible retailing of alcohol


We aim to be an industry leader in the responsible retailing of alcohol products. We have a range of policies complying with legislative requirements, including verifying age in-store and online. We are also committed to providing clear information to customers through on-pack labels, detailing calorie content, portion guidelines, and health warnings.

To encourage responsible drinking, we stock low and zero alcohol beverages, which are seeing strong market growth in Australia and New Zealand. In F23 Countdown prominently promoted its 88 zero
alcohol options with overall category sales of low and zero alcohol beverages up by 10.6% on F22.


Responsible retailing of tobacco


Cigarette sales across Australia and New Zealand are declining due to healthier customer choices, excise taxes and government regulation. We continue to work with the Australian and New Zealand governments to implement tobacco and nicotine control and preventative health policies. As part of the New Zealand Government’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan, our Countdown supermarkets will not apply for licences to sell cigarettes and as a result are readying to cease retailing these products from 1 July 2024.

For our progress against this goal, see our 2023 Sustainability Report. For more information on our metrics, see our 2023 Sustainability Data Pack.